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Appointment of deputy speaker not a top priority, says PM

By SNO Staff

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Saint Lucia Parliament.

Saint Lucia Parliament.

Controversy surrounding the appointment of a deputy speaker to the National Assembly continues even days before the next sitting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16.

But Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has said he is not concerned about that issue, since it is not a top priority for his government, as there are more important issues that needs to be addressed.

Chastanet said his government does not intend to appoint a deputy speaker anytime soon either, but is still open to the idea of having the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) appoint one of its members.

The prime minister has dismissed claims of not adhering to the constitution, explaining that a deputy speaker was appointed at the opening of Parliament, but the position has become vacant again.

Former minister Richard Frederick has a different view.

He said in a recent television programme that not only is the government wrong on its interpretation, but he described the government’s move as making a mockery of the constitution.

Castries Central Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Flood- Beaubrun stepped down as deputy speaker of the House of Assembly following her appointment as minister on July 25.

The constitution does not allow a member of the Cabinet to serve simultaneously as deputy speaker of the House.

But it states if the office of deputy speaker falls vacant at any time, before the next dissolution of Parliament, the House shall as soon “as convenient elect another member of the House.”

No one on the government side of the House can be appointed to that post, because all 11 members are serving in the new Cabinet.

The opposition has made it clear from day one that it has no interest in naming anyone for the post, stating that it is a tradition since 1982 for the government to appoint both speaker and deputy speaker of the House.

If the speaker is not available for whatever reason, a deputy speaker must take charge of the sitting. In the event that there is no speaker, the sitting of the House cannot continue.

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  1. Make VAT elimination top priority so we can stay alive.

  2. What's the purpose of deputy speaker? Okay just to fill a chair.just put one of the common entrance children who received the highest marks, they might be smarter than the opposition.

  3. The only way we can know for sure is to test it. With all the FREE legal aid and advice available to the SLP why don't they ask the question of the Judicial system? While I agree that the act has not occurred so they cannot pre-empt the situation, however, it does not bar them from putting the question to the judiciary. At least that would give an air of certainty to the people and future parliaments. It would be a clear demonstration on their part that they are interested in the development of people and state and not in distraction and regression. Go ahead SLP, you cannot be opposition for yourself but for the people.

  4. This is SLP's idea of trying to create ro-ro in its favour. But to the educated it is a storm in a teacup. Only foolish SLPs would see anything wrong with proceeding without the election of a deputy speaker.

  5. Can I just volunteer to take on that post. lol...nothing beats a try 🙂

  6. Good point.
    Basically the SLP are hypocrites simply looking to see how they can stop the properr governance of St Lucia.
    They will see Lucians suffer just like under their 'negative growth' management but they do not care.
    They see our progress as detrimental to their gaining power so they want the government not to run properly.

    • Isn't that exactly what the UWP did, oppose everything single thing the ruling SLP did, now the shoe is on the other foot you are complaining , let them get a dose of their own medicine or even a stronger does. They demonstrated every time the gas prices went up, however there has been no comment when the gas goes up lately, actually it gone twice from the time they have gotten into office, NOT A WORD, NOT A WORD!

  7. I completely agree. Don't sweat the small stuff and focus on whats important... getting the economy on track. When last you heard from a deputy speaker in parliament? but empty vessels have to make noise so expect it from the other side.

  8. I think you were trying to say "PAST", But wrote your opinion with so much hatred.... Relax Elections are over! we get the point lol.

  9. SLP should learn their pass before they can open their mouth about traditional . If that was the argument why the hell did you not give 21 days before calling elections ?? was that not traditional but you all laughed at the matter stating that the uwp does not know the laws of the land . Stop pulling out convenient cards because it makes you all look like hypocrites !!

    • Levels of ignorance like yours is the reason St. Lucia will forever remain a third world state. We have brought the democratic system of governance to the level of supporting a football team. I am a Manchester United supporter, you are a Chelsea supporter, no matter how our teams perform we remain loyal to the team. That is truly sad.

      • "That's not news" very well put.

        We Lucians are doomed and will never elevate ourselves and the country out of Third Wold / Developing Nation status.

        If we continue this partisan politics approach, its like when our party in power they can't do no wrong. Even when they blatantly do wrong we defend them and the actions because that the party we support.

        This country bookie political mentally needs to stop.

        All the politicians are aware of it and obviously taking advantage.


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